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The Guardian

Latest news, sport, business, comment, analysis and reviews from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Roger Federer v Juan Martín del Potro: Indian Wells men's final – live!

I’m still shaking, I’m so nervous. I was thinking [about missing match points]. I played really well in the [third set] tiebreak ... It’s like a dream after all my problems and surgeries. I’m excited to keep surprising the Tour.

Well, I thought Delpo had blown that after missing championship points earlier but that long semi-final may have taken its toll on Roger. He cracked in the tiebreak, serving two double faults.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 11:58 am

Israeli security guard stabbed to death in Jerusalem

28-year-old Palestinian assailant was shot dead by police after attack in Old City

An Israeli security guard has died of wounds suffered in a stabbing attack carried out by a suspected Palestinian assailant in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The assailant was shot and killed by police at the scene.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 11:02 am

Homeland recap: season 7, episode 5 – Active Measures

The entertainment is cranked up as the president plays a blinder, while Saul investigates the red menace and Carrie reassesses her squad goals

Carrie puts together a team to beat the truth out of Simone Martin and we are reminded that while a Russian troll farm may be quite continental, a punch in the guts can still be a girl’s best friend. New squad members Doxie, Stein, Bennet and Anson join Carrie and Dante in a gloriously entertaining caper that takes them all over Washington, into a ladies bathroom and finally back to David Wellington’s place. Watching Carrie in the field, thinking on her feet and making policy on the hoof, is a huge amount of fun. It’s a compelling mixture of brilliance and buffoonery. The upshot is we now know that Simone did indeed pay to have McClendon assassinated, but there is every indication that David knew nothing about it. So if David isn’t behind it, who is?

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 11:00 am

England staring down the barrel unless lessons are learned – and fast | Robert Kitson

The summer series against South Africa looks ominous unless Eddie Jones’s men can address the reasons for their Six Nations implosion

An unexpectedly one‑sided Six Nations Championship has made two things crystal clear. There can be no disputing that the runaway grand slam winners, Ireland, are the European side best placed to succeed at the Rugby World Cup next year. And the other inescapable conclusion? Unless England absorb the harsh lessons of their worst finish in 31 years, the chances of them prospering in Japan are on a par with Eddie Jones holidaying in Wales in the near future.

Related: Ireland seal grand slam with storming win over England in Six Nations finale

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 10:59 am

The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League and FA Cup photos

Your weekend round-up of the best photography from the FA Cup and England’s top flight

Follow Guardian sport on Instagram for more great photography

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 10:37 am

Vladimir Putin wins Russian election with 74% of vote – exit poll

Result expected to be declared valid despite ‘some irregularities’ – extending Putin’s time in office to nearly a quarter of a century

Vladimir Putin cruised to victory in Sunday’s presidential elections in a result that was never in question. His fourth term as president will extend until 2024, making him the first Kremlin leader to serve two decades in power since Josef Stalin.

With results still coming in, Putin looked set to exceed expectations by clinching more than 73% of the vote.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 10:31 am

Vladimir Putin: 'nonsense' to think Russia would poison spy in UK

Putin, who has won a new presidential term, says Russia does not possess the military nerve agent allegedly used against Sergei and Yulia Skripal

Vladimir Putin said on Sunday it was nonsense to think that Moscow would have poisoned the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who are critically ill in a British hospital.

The UK government has said that the Skripals were poisoned by the Soviet-era novichok nerve agent, and the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, said on Sunday that Russia has been stockpiling it and investigating how such weapons could be used in assassinations.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 10:07 am

Officials wanted Florida school shooting suspect forcibly committed in 2016

Officials were so concerned about the mental stability of the student accused of last month’s Florida school shooting that they decided he should be forcibly committed. The recommendation was never acted upon.

A commitment under the law would have made it more difficult if not impossible for Nikolas Cruz to obtain a gun legally.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 9:10 am

Briton falls to his death from balcony in Mallorca – reports

British man, 22, fell from a fifth floor balcony while on holiday in Palma, local media report

A 22-year-old British man has died after reportedly falling from a fifth floor balcony in Majorca while on holiday with friends.

According to reports in the local newspaper Diario de Mallorca, police inquiries suggest the man lost his balance and fell through a void on the balcony at an apartment in Palma, the island’s capital.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 8:55 am

Charities' income gets stripped down as clothing recycling bins vanish

Clothing banks are disappearing from car parks at night, costing charities in lost revenue and bins

Clothing recycling bins are disappearing from supermarket and council car parks across the UK, costing the charities that should benefit from them hundreds of thousands of pounds, it is claimed.

According to the Textile Recycling Association, the UK’s trade association, 750 clothing banks have recently gone missing from all parts of the UK except Scotland. Some have been found, repainted with the logo of an organisation that is being investigated by the Charity Commission.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 8:36 am

Mulamba is living like a pauper 44 years after Zaire red-card farce | Paul Doyle

Weak and frail, the player sent off at the 1974 World Cup after being wrongly punished for kicking a referee up the backside is struggling to make ends meet

Poor and wheelchair-bound, Ndaye Mulamba has just been told he faces eviction from his rented home in Kinshasa, 44 years after he was ejected from the World Cup for kicking a referee up the backside.

Mulamba is nearly 70 and that may be a surprise if the last time you heard mention of him was when a minute’s silence was held in his honour before a match at the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations, when the players of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burkina Faso marked his “death” in an accident at an Angolan diamond mine. That turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. Mulamba has never even been to Angola.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 8:33 am

Ben Jennings on Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson and Russia – cartoon

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 8:14 am

Pedro’s extra-time header takes Chelsea past Leicester into semi-finals

So much of Chelsea’s campaign has been tempestuous, a season played out to the grumbling of a disenchanted head coach, but it could yet produce a trophy. It took a header in extra time, scored by one of the smallest players on the pitch, to see off Leicester City, and as those in the away end chorused their delight at another imminent trip to Wembley, Antonio Conte could still cling to the possibility of a send-off at the national stadium. If he is to depart this club in May, there might be no better way to go.

The Premier League champions needed this. That midweek exit in the Champions League, while hardly surprising given Barcelona’s reputation, had still stung, and the prospect of leaving the East Midlands with nothing more than the pursuit of a top-four finish to sustain interest over the next two months would have been unpalatable. Now they will meet the relegation-threatened Southampton in next month’s semi-final, with the possibility of last season’s FA Cup finalists going one better this time maintained.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 8:08 am

UK drops bid for instant return of fisheries control – sources

Latest Brexit concession is blow to ambitions of environment secretary Michael Gove

Plans to take back control of UK fisheries the moment Britain leaves the EU appear to have been abandoned in the face of united EU opposition, dealing a significant blow to the ambitions of the environment secretary, Michael Gove.

Gove put repatriating control of fisheries at the heart of his post-Brexit strategy. But as the negotiations to secure the terms of a transition deal go to the wire in Brussels, the UK has backed down.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 7:54 am

Flight of the Conchords postpone UK and Ireland shows

Musical comedy group forced to delay tour after member Bret McKenzie injures his hand

Flight of the Conchords have postponed their upcoming UK and Ireland shows after member Bret McKenzie injured his hand.

McKenzie said on Twitter that the musical comedy group had to delay their tour after he broke two bones falling down the stairs.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 7:40 am

The Guardian view on free speech online: let law decide the limits | Editorial

The standards by which the internet is controlled need to be open and subject to impartial judiciaries – not left to advertisers

The revelations we publish about how Facebook’s data was used by Cambridge Analytica to subvert the openness of democracy are only the latest examples of a global phenomenon. All over the world, governments are coming to grips with the destructive power of social media. In recent weeks, Sri Lanka, Britain, Indonesia and Myanmar have all seen measures taken against hate-speech campaigns. In some cases the companies that publish and profit from them have acted themselves; in others the government has taken direct action. In Sri Lanka, the government reacted to a burst of anti-Muslim rioting by completely shutting down Facebook, WhatsApp, and the messaging app Viber for a week on 7 March. In Britain, Facebook banned the neo-Nazi Britain First movement, which had acquired 2m “likes”, after two of its leaders were jailed. The leaders’ personal pages were also removed. Why it took the company that long to act, when the hateful nature of the pages had been obvious to the whole world ever since Donald Trump retweeted one of their made-up news stories in 2017, is difficult to explain.

YouTube can not only profit from disturbing content but in unintended ways rewards its creation. The algorithms that guide viewers to new choices aim always to intensify the experience, and to keep the viewer excited. This can damage society, and individuals, without being explicitly political: recent research found that the nearly 9,000 YouTube videos explaining away American school shootings as the results of conspiracies using actors to play the part of victims had been watched, in total, more than 4bn times. Four billion page views is an awful lot of potential advertising revenue; it is also, in an embarrassingly literal sense, traffic in human misery and exploitation.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 7:15 am

Barrister blows whistle on 'broken legal system brought to its knees by cuts'

Damning book by ‘secret barrister’ tells of courts plagued by daily errors leaving them unfit for purpose

Courts that are like an A&E unit on a Saturday night, violent abusers walking free because evidence has gone missing, and lawyers doing hours of unpaid work to keep the system from collapse, are all part of a damning picture painted in a new book on the legal system by a barrister.

According to the anonymous author of The Secret Barrister: Stories Of The Law And How It’s Broken, the courts in England and Wales have been brought to their knees by government cuts and left so plagued by daily errors they are no longer fit for purpose.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 7:09 am

The Guardian view on artist Tacita Dean: epic, intimate and in touch with history | Editorial

Contemporary art is often seen as having brutally abandoned tradition. But the best work of the present is in conversation with that of the past

This is the artist Tacita Dean’s year: she is the focus of four major British exhibitions. Two have just opened: Portrait, at London’s National Portrait Gallery, which focuses on her films of human subjects, including choreographer Merce Cunningham, and the artists David Hockney and Cy Twombly; and Still Life at the National Gallery next door, a delicate, two-room exhibition for which she has assembled works of art from the present alongside paintings from the past. In May comes a retrospective at London’s Royal Academy of Arts. In July, an exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh looking at performance in her work.

Dean’s art has been regularly shown in the UK over the years – she occupied Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall in 2011, and that same year had a glorious little exhibition at the Common Guild in Glasgow, among many others. But it has never before seen on this scale in her home country – with which she has a complicated relationship. Long ago the Canterbury-born artist found Berlin, and more recently Los Angeles, more conducive places to live and work than the UK, a fact that reflects ill on the continuing British cultural suspicion of contemporary art. She once said of Berlin: “There’s a quality of seriousness about being an artist here that is so un-British. If you say you are an artist here, that’s a valid thing. In the UK it’s laughable – you are a freak.” She describes herself, firmly, as “a British European artist”.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 7:08 am

Questions and theories on the Salisbury nerve agent attack | Letters

Readers reflect on the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter

If President John F Kennedy’s 1963 assassination had been handled as the British government has done with the Skripals’ poisoning (Editorial, 15 March), dozens of Soviet diplomats would have been expelled, trade arrangements and contacts with the Soviet Union would have been cancelled, and Soviet ships docking at US ports would have likely been seized. After all, Kennedy’s alleged assassin had resided in the Soviet Union and had long been married to a Soviet citizen. And, since months earlier the alleged assassin happened to have visited a Cuban consulate in Mexico to apply for a visa – which he was denied – the US embargo on Cuba would have likely been tightened. To his credit, President Lyndon Johnson – unlike Britain’s foreign secretary, Boris Johnson – called for an investigation and avoided voicing any conclusions beforehand, while refraining from pressuring allies to blame the Soviet government.

There are many questions on the Skripal case that deserve answers, that only a thorough investigation can provide. Why was Mr Skripal living in Salisbury, and did he have any recent dealings with MI6, the British repository of chemical or nerve agents said to be located nearby, or Russian mobsters? Did Britain not long ago stock the nerve agent novichok and (if so) what controls were in place at the time of the incident? Was Skripal re-enlisted by British intelligence to assist or spy against diplomats or the Russian government? What motive would the Russian government have for eliminating a former intelligence officer who was supposedly inactive, living a life of quiet retirement? And – regarding sovereign rights – did MI6 not violate Russian sovereignty when it recruited Mr Skripal as a spy – in Russian territory? Why would the poisoning be carried out barely a week before Russian presidential elections, and would it not reflect negatively on Mr Putin’s candidacy? Could it be more than mere coincidence that the British government’s failure to advance the Brexit negotiations affected its handling of the Skripal case?
Luis Suarez-Villa
Professor emeritus, University of California, Irvine, US

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 7:07 am

Return of Ben Stokes tops agenda as England prepare for New Zealand

• Questions remain over Stokes due to back injury
• Just having him there is a good lift, says Moeen Ali

Their Test record overseas is abysmal – with no wins in 11 matches, for those counting – and they have broadly kept the same players who failed in Australia. Ben Stokes will return, but his impact may be diminished by his bad back, which would lead to major changes in the shape of the side. They are on the verge of breaking up the new-ball hegemony of their two most prolific bowlers. Oh, and they are facing opposition ranked above them, too. No 4 is playing No 5 in No 4’s backyard. This is no breezy jolly after a tough Ashes series.

Related: England hope Stuart Broad demotion will bring benefit of more balanced attack

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 6:59 am

Corbyn writes to May about man's £54,000 NHS cancer bill

Labour leader tells PM patient could die because of difficulties in proving his immigration status

Jeremy Corbyn has written to Theresa May about Londoner Albert Thompson’s £54,000 bill for cancer treatment, saying the government risks allowing a patient to die because of difficulties proving immigration status.

Thompson, 63, who has lived continuously in the UK for 44 years since arriving from Jamaica as a teenager in 1973, is not receiving the radiotherapy he needs for prostate cancer because the London hospital where he was due to start treatment last November told him he needed to provide proof of residency or pay upfront for his care.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 6:52 am

Trump 'fake memos' attack on McCabe raises fears of firing special counsel

Donald Trump cast doubt on memos of conversations between him and the fired FBI deputy director that have reportedly been handed to Robert Mueller, claiming Andrew McCabe did not take notes during their meetings.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 6:51 am

More snow and ice forecast as travel disrupted across UK

Met Office warns of further snow and ice across the UK as bitterly cold temperatures return

Britain was braced for further travel disruption on Monday as the “mini beast from the east” was expected to bring up to 30cm of snow to parts of the UK overnight.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled, roads closed and sports events called off as plummeting temperatures cast a blanket of snow across the UK on Sunday.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 6:08 am

Jared Kushner's company routinely filed false New York City paperwork

Construction applications falsely claimed no rent-controlled tenants protected by rules to prevent developers from pushing them out

When the Kushner Companies bought three apartment buildings in Queens in 2015, most tenants were protected by rules that prevent developers from pushing them out, raising rents and turning a profit.

But that was exactly what the company then run by Jared Kushner did, with remarkable speed. Two years later, it sold the buildings for $60m, nearly 50% more than it paid.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 6:06 am

Pub saved by locals serves first pint after reopening

Punters chipped in more than £1m to stop Packhorse Inn in Somerset being turned into flats

A 15th-century pub near Bath that was saved from being turned into flats after residents raised more than £1m has served its first pint after reopening.

Almost 500 residents chipped in to buy the Packhorse Inn in South Stoke, Somerset, from property developers who had bought it six years ago.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 5:57 am

Rebels in Syria's eastern Ghouta discussing ceasefire with UN – statement

Main rebel group in talks about aid and evacuation of sick and wounded as President Assad visits troops

The main rebel group in the southern pocket of Syria’s opposition-held eastern Ghouta has said it is negotiating with a United Nations delegation about a ceasefire, aid and the evacuation of urgent medical cases.

“We are engaged in arranging serious negotiations to guarantee the safety and protection of civilians,” said Wael Alwan, the Istanbul-based spokesman for Failaq al-Rahman.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 5:30 am

$1m prize for London educator named 'world's best teacher'

Arts and textiles teacher Andria Zafirakou from Alperton school says her pupils are ‘phenomenal’

A woman from north London has been announced as the first British winner of a prize worth $1m (£720,000) for the world’s best teacher.

Andria Zafirakou, an arts and textiles teacher from Alperton community school in Brent, north-west London, was presented with the fourth annual Varkey Foundation Global Teacher prize in Dubai on Sunday.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 5:30 am

No one can pretend Facebook is just harmless fun any more | Ellie Mae O’Hagan

From its stance on extremist content, to its vast caches of user data, Facebook is a corporation whose power must, finally, be reined in

The revelation that Cambridge Analytica exploited the data of 50 million Facebook profiles to target American voters is indeed frightening. But Cambridge Analytica shouldn’t act as a diversion from the real bad guy in this story: Facebook. It is mystifying that as his company regulates the flow of information to billions of human beings, encouraging certain purchasing habits and opinions, and monitoring people’s interactions, Mark Zuckerberg is invited to give lectures at Harvard without being treated with due scepticism.

We have now reached the point where an unaccountable private corporation is holding detailed data on over a quarter of the world’s population. Zuckerberg and his company have been avoiding responsibility for some time. Governments everywhere need to get serious in how they deal with Facebook.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 5:21 am

Trump will pull out of Iran nuclear deal, leading senator predicts

The chair of the Senate foreign relations committee has predicted Donald Trump will pull the US out of the nuclear deal with Iran.

Related: Trump's firings signal hawkish turn on North Korea and Iran

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 5:01 am

‘People with ADHD can be incredibly valuable at work’

Lack of awareness of the behavioural disorder has meant many people found it difficult to hold down jobs. But proper diagnosis and support are allowing more employees to make the most of their talents

‘As an employee, I wasn’t very good because I was inconsistent,” says Jannine Harris, 44, from Northampton. “I’m brilliant, and then I’m rubbish. And that’s obviously frustrating for an employer to contend with because they don’t know which Jannine they are going to get.”

Harris says she lost, or left, more than 40 jobs before she settled in her current role at Billing Brook school as a special needs teacher. “I’ve been dismissed from so many jobs,” she says. “That was the cycle of things. The only time I managed to hold down a long-term job, before my current one, was when I worked for myself for six years, but I only managed 13 months in a job prior to that.”

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 5:00 am

Revealed: how an increasingly powerful Momentum is transforming Labour

Guardian investigation reveals, two years after Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader, that ‘party within a party’ has become a major force
The battle for Labour in Lewisham
Morecambe: resort town at heart of dissent within Momentum

Momentum is a powerful and increasingly independent political force that is radically transforming the Labour party, with local groups challenging party orthodoxies, flouting national membership rules and fighting to get their activists selected, a Guardian investigation has revealed.

A grassroots reporting project across four local parties demonstrates that Momentum, often described as a “party within a party”, has rapidly become the most powerful force on the ground with Labour members frequently defining themselves as for or against it.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 5:00 am

CBI urges UK to avoid loss of up to €1bn a year in EU research funding

Business group wants Britain to become associate member of R&D programme after Brexit

Britain’s biggest business lobby group is seeking to prevent the loss of as much as €1bn (£882m) in annual European funding for scientific research and technological development, which has been thrown into doubt by Brexit.

According to a briefing paper seen by the Guardian, the CBI is calling for the government to state its intention to renew its membership of the EU framework programme for research and development after Brexit. Failure to take such steps could further harm businesses already cutting their spending on research and discourage future investments, it says.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 4:59 am

All UK police should be allowed stun guns, says firearms chief

Simon Chesterman of National Police Chiefs’ Council says patrol officers ‘deserve the protection’

All police officers on routine patrol should be allowed to carry stun guns, the country’s chief firearms officer has said.

Simon Chesterman, the armed policing lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), indicated he supported a wider rollout of the weapons amid fears of a growing threat to frontline officers.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 4:47 am

Mark Hughes starts Southampton reign in style with FA Cup win at Wigan

The FA Cup semi-finals will be an all‑Premier League affair after all. Wigan Athletic did their best to keep the League One flag flying but after eliminating three top-flight opponents in previous rounds they met their match in Southampton, who were anonymous at first but managed two goals and a missed penalty in the second half.

“I couldn’t ask any more of my players, we have represented League One in a very good way,” Paul Cook, the Wigan manager, said. “In the first half especially we were excellent, but though we felt we were playing well we probably didn’t work their goalkeeper enough. I was a bit fearful at half-time because we hadn’t got anything after being on top. Sure enough Southampton grew into the game and we found it hard to keep up our intensity.”

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 4:47 am

St Leonards shooting: family pay tribute to women killed at home

Family of Heather Whitbread and her daughter Michelle issue statement through Sussex police

Relatives of a woman and her daughter who were shot dead in their home have paid tribute to two “beautiful people that filled our family with laughter”.

Heather Whitbread, 53, and her daughter Michelle, 32, were fatally wounded during the attack on Bexhill Road in St Leonards, East Sussex, on Friday night.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 4:44 am

Developing countries at risk from US rate rise, debt charity warns

Jubilee Debt Campaign says 126 nations spend more than 10% of revenues on interest

The expected rise in US interest rates will increase financial pressures on developing countries already struggling with a 60% jump in their debt repayments since 2014, a leading charity has warned.

The Jubilee Debt Campaign said a study of 126 developing nations showed that they were devoting more than 10% of their revenues on average to paying the interest on money borrowed – the highest level since before the G7 agreement to write off the debts of the world’s poorest nations at Gleneagles, Scotland, in 2005.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 4:34 am

Irish excellence at Cheltenham a cause for celebration not protection | Greg Wood

Talk of introducing barriers to keep Irish the Irish in check after their 17-winner haul at the Festival are ridiculous – the best jumping horses should be celebrated regardless of their origin

As if another thumping return from Cheltenham and then the Six Nations grand slam were not enough for fans of Irish sport, the peevish reaction by at least a few on the British side to the 17-winner haul at the Festival last week must have been the cherry on top.

Britain’s National Hunt fraternity did at least lead the Irish after Summerville Boy’s win in the opener on Tuesday, but the meeting then turned into a private battle between Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins, with the former emerging as the leading trainer with eight wins to seven. By the final afternoon, the rout was so complete that one British Horseracing Authority executive muttered darkly that “barriers” might be required in our post-Brexit future to keep the Irish in check.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 4:30 am

Sunday's best photos: Russian elections and a rhino census

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 4:26 am

Yes review – prog-rock giants take virtuosic tour through golden oldies

Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
The rock warriors celebrate their 50th anniversary with a show of 70s hits and Spinal Tap-style howlers

‘And on drums … Jay Leno!” yells Yes guitarist Steve Howe, wrongly introducing his band’s drummer (former Asia stickman Jay Schellen) by the name of a very famous TV host. The Spinal Tap-type howler is understandable given that the 1970s and 80s prog-rock giants have been through 19 members and have ended up as two touring incarnations.

There’s Yes featuring (original singer) Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman. Then there’s this one, kept going (after founding bassist Chris Squire’s death in 2015), by guitarist Howe and drummer Alan White, whose back surgery has left him unable to perform for long. The rival band have branded them a tribute act, although flowing-haired singer Jon Davison (who once was in a Yes tribute act called Roundabout) doesn’t need his tight trousers to help tackle his predecessor’s angelic upper ranges.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 4:05 am

The golden couple behind Frozen: 'Letting it go is drinking a bottle of chardonnay'

It’s the grand slam – an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, a Tony – and Robert Lopez has done it twice. The EGOT champ and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, his wife and co-composer, talk about penning songs during fights and picnics – and taking Elsa to Broadway

A little while before married composers Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez collected their second shared Oscar, they went skiing. You might think the man who co-wrote Let It Go for the animated smash hit Frozen would know his way around some fresh powder. But this was Lopez’s first time staring down a snowy mountain. According to his wife, the mountain won.

“He hated it,” she says. “I didn’t hate it,” he protests. “I’m just scared of heights.”

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 4:00 am

'I worry for my family': Russian exile's safety fears after Glushkov death

Anti-Putin campaigner in London considers hiring private security guards after murder of fellow exile

Yevgeny Chichvarkin, a former mobile phone tycoon, has lived in the UK for almost a decade, after fleeing Russia in 2009, and has become an active anti-Putin campaigner. He had never considered hiring private security guards, but the opening of a murder investigation into the death of fellow exiled Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov has prompted him to reassess how much danger he might be facing.

“We’ve been discussing it. If you do it, you have to have it 24/7, for everyone. It costs really big money to do it properly,” Chichvarkin said. “For the moment we haven’t decided.” He knew Glushkov a little and was shaken by his death. He assumes he will be on the list of Russian exiles the Metropolitan police are beginning to contact to talk to about security, but has yet to hear from anyone.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 3:35 am

Winter Paralympics closing ceremony: South Korea bids farewell to the Games

Folk music, K-pop and tributes to Stephen Hawking - the 12th Winter Paralympics have come to a spectacular end in Pyeongchang

The traditional closing ceremony has brought the curtain down on the 2018 Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang. If you didn’t get to watch it, here are some of the highlights of a lavish and firework-laden show.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 3:31 am

Male pill could be on horizon as trials yield positive results

Scientists behind contraceptive say they have overcome hurdles that have stalled development

A male pill could be on the horizon after early trials showed a once-daily tablet was safe and appeared to work, according to researchers.

The quest to develop a male contraceptive pill has been long and fraught. Men who want a reversible form of contraception have said in surveys that they would prefer a pill to injections or gels, which are also being developed.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 3:20 am

Balearic island of s’Espalmador sold to private bidder for £16m

Tiny island close to Formentera has been bought by a family from Luxembourg

A tiny Balearic island that lies between Ibiza and Formentera and boasts two houses, a chapel and a watchtower has been sold to a private bidder for €18m (£16m).

S’Espalmador, which occupies 137 hectares and can be reached on foot from Formentera at low tide, has been snapped up by a family from Luxembourg despite efforts to sell it to the Formentera government.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 3:03 am

Homelessness minister: I don’t know why rough sleeper numbers are up

Heather Wheeler says she does not believe welfare reform and council cuts are factors

The UK’s new homelessness minister has told the Guardian she does not know why the number of rough sleepers has increased so significantly in recent years. Heather Wheeler said she did not accept the suggestion that welfare reforms and council cuts had contributed to the rise.

On a visit to a housing project in Glasgow, Wheeler said she remained “totally confident” she would not have to act on her pledge to resign should she fail to meet the Conservative manifesto commitment of halving rough sleeping by 2022, and eradicating it by 2027. “We’re going to move heaven and earth to get that done,” she promised.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 3:00 am

Snow returns to the UK in time for spring – in pictures

With the first day of (astronomical) spring just days away, the cold snap that’s being called the ‘mini-beast from the east’ brought plummeting temperatures, with fresh snow still to come

• More snow and ice forecast as travel disrupted across UK

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 2:36 am

'Homer Simpson' pulled over by police in Milton Keynes

Fake driving licence presented to officer has picture of character saying ‘D’oh!’ catchphrase

Choosing one of the world’s most famous cartoon characters for a fake driving licence might seem like something only Homer Simpson himself would do, but this week police pulled over a driver who had done just that.

A unidentified male driver was stopped by police in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, this week and presented the officer with the licence, featuring the character from The Simpsons.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 2:16 am

Risotto, frittata, vignole: Russell Norman’s classic recipes from Venice

The Polpo restaurateur spent 14 months discovering the culinary secrets of his favourite Italian city. Here’s our pick of what he found

When Russell Norman put together a proposal to write a cookbook about Venice – his favourite city, one he’s visited more than 100 times, and the inspiration for his popular Polpo restaurants – his first thought was: no one’s going to fall for this.

Why? “Because it sounded like I wanted to go on a jolly for 14 months,” he laughs when we meet for tea in Soho, just around the corner from the original Polpo on Beak Street. “I wanted to discover the true culinary heart of Venice over four seasons. The only way I could do that, I said in the proposal, was by living there, as a Venetian, for at least a year and writing the book in real time.”

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 1:00 am

James Rhodes: ‘I'd give £50,000 to anyone who could guarantee me a good eight hours' sleep’

The pianist and author of a raw memoir of child abuse talks about salvation through music

I’m booked to meet James Rhodes at Kateh, a neighbourhood Persian restaurant near his west London flat. He’s a devotee of the meat they serve, which, he suggests with some excitement, is sourced from the best butcher in the world – in particular, he raves about the charred lamb, and a saffron-marinated chicken.

When we turn up, however, the restaurant is resolutely shut; the dining room has been emptied of chairs and tables, decorators are in. We shuffle off to Rhodes’s default lunch option, the Quince Tree, which is in a big glass conservatory in his local garden centre (“Ignore the twee name,” he suggests, cheerfully, “the food is great”.) Putting all thoughts of saffron marinade out of our heads we settle for decent calamari and chicken skewers, seafood linguini and lamb shoulder, and start to talk.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 1:00 am

Investors in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies face hefty tax bills

According to the Internal Revenue Service, anything purchased using a digital currency is liable to be taxed as a capital gain

The rollercoaster ride for some cryptocurrency investors could be about to take another tax-time lurch, according to experts, as the taxman looks for his share of transactions made using bitcoin and its like.

Wild fluctuations in the value of digital currencies – bitcoin surged from less than one dollar in 2010 to $997 at the start of the 2017 to nearly $20,000 before settling back to around $8,500 on Friday – have exposed investors to tax bills the value of their coins may no longer meet.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 12:59 am

Gugu Mbatha-Raw: on Oprah, race and Hollywood

Already one of Britain’s most promising actors, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is now joining the A-list and working with the likes of Oprah, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon

Late last year, Gugu Mbatha-Raw received a phone call from her mother. A letter had arrived at the family home in Witney, Oxfordshire. It wasn’t in just any old envelope; this bore a seal, and the words “Her Majesty’s Service”. Mbatha-Raw giggled down the line from Los Angeles. “Mother!’ she said. “It’s the damehood!”

The truth’s not so far removed: when we meet for lunch in London in January, Mbatha-Raw is fresh from a trip to Buckingham Palace to collect an MBE. “It was incredible,” she says sounding wistful, slightly in awe. “A chamber orchestra performed, sun streamed through the windows. Afterwards there was champagne and photos. It felt like a very posh graduation.” Still, if you think she’s wide-eyed about it, you should see her parents: “I think they’re more impressed than they would be if I won an Oscar.”

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 12:48 am

The great British chef shortage: why eating out is under threat

We are in a golden age for dining out – but now there aren’t enough trained chefs and waiters to go round – and Brexit is not going to help

It was, says chef patron Alexis Gauthier, “not the last resort”, but almost. Last September, he needed to fill three positions at his central London restaurant, Gauthier Soho: a pastry chef; a chef de partie, to head up one of the stations in the kitchen; and a sommelier. Gauthier has held a Michelin star since 2011, but that is not enough of an enticement in an age where new restaurants seem to open every hour and there are not enough trained chefs and waiters to go round. Gauthier, a 44-year-old from Provence, decided to sweeten the deal: the winning candidates would each receive a £1,000 “golden handshake” in return for committing to work for one year.

The unusual offer received some industry press and Gauthier, who has worked in London for 20 years, was pleased with the response. There were some strong applicants and all the spots were taken up within two weeks.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 12:30 am

Taste test: which Easter eggs and hot cross buns should you buy?

From chocolate bunnies to luxury eggs, high street Easter treats tasted and rated by Ottolenghi’s Helen Goh

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 12:30 am

Should white people pay more for lunch? New Orleans chef tests social experiment

Chef Tunde Wey introduced tiered payments at his Nigerian establishment to highlight the city’s extreme income disparity

Imagine standing in a line for lunch. The customer in front you pays $12 for his food box but when you go to pay for the same product, the chef asks if you’re willing to shell out $30 instead.

Why? Because you’re white.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 12:00 am

Trump and trade tariffs: big lies founded on small truths | Yanis Varoufakis

The president claims he wants to support blue-collar workers – but that notion soon collapses into a pool of implausibility

Donald Trump is perhaps the US president best equipped to understand that some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.

His personal business plan always involved racking up enormous deficits and debts, before finding a way to unload them on to others – his employees and creditors mostly.

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 12:00 am

The zen of hens: the rise and rise of chicken-keeping

Thousands of people across Britain now keep poultry as pets – and it can be life-changing

For more than 8,000 years, chickens have lived close to mankind, their long proximity leaving its mark on our language. We fear things “coming home to roost”, worry about “putting all our eggs in one basket”. Through all those years, the rusty klaxon of the cock’s crow has jolted humanity awake. The cockerel’s miracle-like defeat of darkness has earned him a symbolic place in religions around the world. Heard less often today, a rasping “cock-a-doodle-doo” now conjures a simpler, more rural existence. This rousing barnyard cheer is making a comeback, for a growing number of Britons are discovering the joys of keeping chickens.

Hen-keeping has a long and mostly female history in this country. In the past, “egg money” offered financial independence of a minor kind to the farmer’s wife or, in this case, the vicar’s. In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen lightens the plight of Charlotte Lucas, married off to the pompous Mr Collins, by giving her a few hens. These provide a welcome distraction. “Her home and her housekeeping, her parish and her poultry, and all their dependent concerns, had not yet lost their charms.”

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Posted on 19 March 2018 | 12:00 am

Among the refugees: a filmmaker’s epic journey from Syria to sanctuary

Alex Farrell walked through 10 countries alongside a family of Syrian refugees. His groundbreaking documentary records their perilous journey

A few years ago, 29-year-old Alex Farrell was another struggling young actor in Hollywood who had drifted to Los Angeles from London. “I realised it wasn’t what I wanted and LA didn’t afford me the opportunity,” he says. “It’s easy to get lost in the Hollywood bubble. I decided I was more interested in being behind the camera.”

On a cold, rainy morning, sitting in his two-room cabin behind his mother’s house in Kent, he is drinking pear juice and smoking roll-ups, telling me that, “after seeing the horror and despair refugees face as they seek safety and shelter”, he felt driven to tell their stories.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 11:49 pm

Turkey claims Afrin city centre is under 'total' control

Erdoğan says Turkish forces have taken Kurdish-majority city in Syria after two-month offensive

Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have taken total control of the centre of Afrin, a Kurdish-majority city in northern Syria, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has said.

“Units of the Free Syrian Army, which are backed by Turkish armed forces, took control of the centre of Afrin this morning at 8.30am (0530 GMT),” Erdoğan said, adding that de-mining operations were under way.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 11:42 pm

Pressure mounts on Cambridge Analytica and Facebook over data scandal

Growing calls in US and UK for investigations to explain data breach affecting tens of millions

Facebook and the analytics company that worked with Donald Trump’s election team have come under mounting pressure, with calls for investigations and hearings to explain a vast data breach that affected tens of millions of people.

In Britain, the head of the parliamentary committee investigating fake news accused Cambridge Analytica and Facebook of misleading MPs after revelations in the Observer that more than 50m Facebook profiles were harvested and used to build a system that may have influenced voters in the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 11:23 pm

Property firms make millions buying and selling on MoD land

MoD fails to ensure windfall profits are returned to taxpayer or development occurs, says opposition

Property companies have made millions of pounds by buying land from the Ministry of Defence and applying for planning permission, before selling on the sites.

In several cases, no building occurred before the resale; on other sites, no development at all has occurred years after the original sales. In most cases, the MoD failed to ensure that any of the windfall profits were returned to the taxpayer.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 11:00 pm

Stay focused Brexiters – Russia is not the enemy | Stewart Lee

Better to live free for a day in a Britain full of rogue killers than to live a thousand years as the slaves of Brussels

Last Sunday, diners from the Salisbury Zizzi were belatedly advised to burn all their clothes as a precautionary measure; as was anyone who had ever visited a Jamie’s Italian, but for different reasons. Enemies of Putin expire and nuclear threats are proliferating across the Earth. Perhaps the trademark robust diplomacy of the foreign secretary Boris Johnson, deployed via scatological limericks in his chickenfeed Telegraph column, might defuse the tension?

Needless to say, shameless remoaners are already exploiting the Salisbury poisoning to sabotage Brexit. Is there no pig trough low enough into which they will not now stoop themselves? Even given Russia’s nuclear threats, we must not be so weak as to go dunce’s cap in hand to the Brussels fat-cats who gerrymandered us into building wheelchair access ramps in libraries and planting wild flower meadows. Brexit means Brexit.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 11:00 pm

'Chaos and panic': man arrested after car driven into Gravesend nightclub

Man, 21, is being held on suspicion of attempted murder after at least 13 were injured

At least 13 people have been injured and a man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a car ploughed into a nightclub in Kent.

It is believed that the 21-year-old alleged driver had been asked to leave the venue following an altercation. It is not being treated as a terrorist incident.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 10:46 pm

Sharmaine Lovegrove: ‘If you don’t have a diverse workforce or product, sooner or later you won’t exist’

The Dialogue Books publisher felt shut out of the book world, working her own way up from secondhand book stall to heading her inclusive new imprint. At last, she writes, the industy is changing

I am from a family of activists. My uncle, Len Garrison, was the founder of the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, south London, and I draw daily inspiration from his fight for equality along with his love for literature. Books and stories have always been my escape route from busy London life. As a child I was often found reading – in a corner at home in Battersea, or in the library, on a bus, or the back of a car, drifting into the lives of others for hours on end, with only the act of turning the page occasionally jolting me back into reality.

Growing up in the 1980s and 90s, London was incredible, and totally different to the childhood I am giving my son. We had an enormous amount of freedom in an affordable and creative capital, which is just not possible today. My parents were young but could afford to live in the original “nappy valley” off Northcote Road: grand Victorian villas between Wandsworth and Clapham commons, 10 minutes from glorious Battersea Park, passing the maze of housing estates, crisscrossing the river to visit friends and family and falling in love with the whole place.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 10:00 pm

Forty years of hi-tech: from the Sainsbury Centre to Apple Park

In 1978, Norman Foster’s Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia was a gleaming vision of the future. A forthcoming exhibition there celebrates a distinctly British architecture driven by free-form technology and high ideals

Ah yes, the 1970s. The three-day week, the winter of discontent, Austin Allegros, punch-ups with the National Front, mutterings of rightwing coups, the Sex Pistols swearing on family TV. They included, to be sure, such now unavailable non-trivia as free higher education, affordable housing and a functioning health service. But it was a decade that, having flared into being in the psychedelic glow of its predecessor, embrowned itself into the tones of hessian and muesli and the guttering shadows of power cuts. It was the time when architectural modernism, imploding under the weight of self-doubt and external criticism, gave way to a meek “neo-vernacular” of bricks and pitched roofs.

And then, in Norwich (to misquote the opening credits of the epoch’s epic game show, Sale of the Century), appeared an assured and beautiful statement of faith in the new: a shining shed on, if not quite a hill, this being Norfolk, at least an upward incline. The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia, designed by the fortysomething architect Norman Foster, was, as he now says, based on “an optimistic view of the future”. The era’s mood of malaise and decay could only bounce off its aluminium hide.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 9:00 pm

Say ‘No’ and change your life

We live in a world where ‘yes’ is the default. But we need to tame our inner ‘chimp’ and embrace the power of ‘no’

My old friend Mick calls me with an invitation to his 50th birthday party. It sounds brilliant. Mick has rented a house for a week. Lots of people I know will be there. I want to go. I really, really want to go.

“So is that a yes?”

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 8:00 pm

The looming epidemic threat | Jonathan Quick

A dangerous virus, as yet unknown, has the potential to wipe out millions of us. Yet public health bodies are mired in complacency

Somewhere out there a dangerous virus is boiling up in the bloodstream of a bird, bat, monkey or pig, preparing to jump to a human being. It’s hard to comprehend the scope of such a threat, for it has the potential to wipe out millions of us, including my family and yours, over a matter of weeks or months. The risk makes the threat posed by Islamic State, a ground war, a massive climate event or even the dropping of a nuclear bomb on a major city pale by comparison.

A new epidemic could turn into a pandemic without warning. It could be born in a factory farm in Minnesota, a poultry farm in China or the bat-inhabited elephant caves of Kenya – anywhere infected animals are in contact with humans. It could be a variation of the 1918 Spanish flu, one of hundreds of other known microbial threats or something entirely new, such as the 2003 Sars virus that spread globally from China. Once transmitted to a human, an airborne virus could pass from that one infected individual to 25,000 others within a week, and to more than 700,000 within the first month. Within three months, it could spread to every major urban centre in the world. And by six months, it could infect more than 300 million people and kill more than 30 million.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 7:04 pm

Too big for her boots? Alexandra Burke’s confidence should be feted | Rebecca Nicholson

Her Strictly performances were exceptional but the British public’s love of an underdog did her no favours. More’s the pity

Alexandra Burke has been speaking up for confidence, telling BBC News that the UK has “a massive problem” with mistaking self-belief for arrogance. Burke managed not to win Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 despite consistently dancing better than all of the other contestants. There was a feeling that the audience had not warmed to her, based on the fact that viewers regularly tweeted things such as “fake” and “false” and said she had too much experience as a dancer to win a best dancer competition.

“It’s a shame that some people mistook that determination and that will to want to do well, which everyone should have in life by the way, for arrogance or anything other than what it was,” she told the BBC last week. Burke became famous when she won The X Factor in 2008, after duetting with Beyoncé, a superstar now so aloof that she doesn’t bother with interviews, issuing only new photographs, which I imagine she peels from a pile and scatters like banknotes at the feet of desperate editors. Their version of Listen ended with Burke sobbing on Beyoncé’s shoulder, before Dermot O’Leary tied a ribbon around this odd time capsule by calling Beyoncé “hun”. It feels like longer than 10 years ago.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 7:02 pm

‘I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t be on my own’: how I coped with my crippling anxiety

Author Kate Riordan had two miscarriages which then brought on severe health anxiety. Here she describes how she got through the storm

This time last year I was keeping a diary, the writing small and meticulously neat. In it, I recorded everything that happened each day. Not in the outside world but to me, inside my own body. It was the only thing that seemed important enough to set down. “Lots of muscle spasms today,” I wrote on 20 February, pen pressed hard to the page. “Aches and twinges on my right side, getting more acute in the evening. Left leg still weak.” At the back of the diary were lists: girls’ names, US states, English counties – all written out alphabetically. While my days were spent obsessively monitoring my physical symptoms, the lists were getting me through the silent winter nights. Putting my brain to work on “Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas…” was a diversion tactic to stave off the worst of the panic.

It was two miscarriages and their medical investigations that turned my mind inward until I could do nothing but mentally scan my body, looking for trouble. I was told I had endometriosis and an underactive thyroid, and this completely wrong-footed me. If my body had kept this from me, what else was it harbouring in its darkest corners? OK, I’d been watching a lot of Game of Thrones, but I felt like an unpopular queen in a court of traitors. My body had become a thing apart from me, capable of keeping secrets.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 6:59 pm

The big picture: Frida Kahlo in New York, 1939

The artist in traditional Mexican costume photographed by her Hungarian-born lover Nickolas Muray at the end of their secret affair

The Hungarian-American photographer and Olympic fencer Nickolas Muray took this photograph of Frida Kahlo in traditional Mexican dress and cigarette in hand on a rooftop in Greenwich Village, New York, in March 1939. The pair were at the end of a secret love affair that had begun in Mexico eight years earlier.

Kahlo, whose life will be celebrated in a large-scale exhibition of her personal belongings at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London opening on 16 June (for which tickets have just gone on sale), was then 32. She was in a moment of typically contrasting fortune, having just returned by boat from France where the surrealist André Breton had organised an exhibition of her work and where a painting of hers, the self-portrait The Frame, had been purchased by the Louvre. While in Paris she had, however, been ill once again: in hospital with a kidney infection. A few months earlier, her first solo show in New York had been a great success – the actor Edward G Robinson had bought four of her paintings – but all the time she was aware that, back in Mexico, her incendiary marriage to the painter and revolutionary Diego Rivera was unravelling.

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 7:00 am

Sketch in the city: the artist capturing urban clutter – in pictures

Urban Sketchers (also known as USk) is a worldwide group of more than 60,000 people who create drawings of the places they visit. Founded by journalist Gabriel Campanario in Seattle in 2007, the movement quickly went global with the help of social media. It is important that the drawings are done in situ. “It makes you look at things,” says Simone Ridyard, architect, senior lecturer at Manchester School of Art and a founder of the Manchester and Salford Urban Sketchers group. “Some of the things I really like are the tramlines and litter bins and postboxes – the urban clutter. It’s not about drawing beautiful things; it’s about what’s in front of you.”

Ridyard mainly uses fine-liner pens overlaid with watercolour, and has drawn places from Rio de Janeiro to Singapore to Padstow. The Manchester branch has more than 2,000 members, many of whom meet regularly to sketch individually or in groups. ”There’s no pressure; you might do one drawing, you might do five,” says Ridyard. “It’s about slowing down and enjoying the view.”

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Posted on 18 March 2018 | 6:00 am

The 20 photographs of the week

From arctic surfing to a special election in the US, protests against gun violence to the shooting of a popular politician in Rio, Russian fashion to the diplomatic row caused by the Skripal incident; we take a look at the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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Posted on 17 March 2018 | 10:00 pm

Oh Jonny boy: mid-20th century Ireland in glorious technicolour

To mark St Patrick’s Day, the Photographers’ Gallery in London is releasing newly restored pictures of rural Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s by a pioneer of British and Irish postcard art, John Hinde

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Posted on 17 March 2018 | 8:00 pm

'The future will be equal': Sienna Miller speaks out at #MeToo summit – video

In a powerful speech in New York, actor Sienna Miller hailed the Time’s Up movement for teaching a lesson to ‘our rampant patriarchal societies’. Miller was speaking at an event on sexual exploitation and harassment hosted by the Guardian, UN Women and the Norwegian government. She praised the courage of the women in the entertainment industry who have spoken up on sexual harassment and abuse, and talked about the discrimination she has felt in her own career. ‘I have really just had enough. Enough of being undervalued, enough of being undermined, enough of being disrespected, because of my gender’

‘A wave of change’: Sienna Miller hails #MeToo movement at New York summit

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Posted on 17 March 2018 | 7:16 am

Pup crawl: Britain's best dog-friendly pubs

Ale-lovers and tail-waggers rejoice: Britain’s pubs are rolling out the red carpet for puppy patrons. Catherine Gray rounds up the country’s best pup-friendly pubs – adding expert advice on training them to stay home alone if you’re flying solo

With all the adoration and adorableness, a puppy also comes with a side order of guilt. It’s nigh-on impossible to never leave them alone, but when we do it feels as unnatural as leaving a limb behind. You’re out of the house, but all you can think of is them pacing, whimpering and quite possibly wrecking the place.

Thankfully, pub owners across the country are making space for our four-legged plus-ones – serving up a side of dog-friendly treats, accessories and activities and areas.

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Posted on 17 March 2018 | 1:36 am

Ralf Little tells Owen Jones: 'Jeremy Hunt's arrogance towards doctors made me angry' – video

In an interview with the writer Owen Jones, Ralf Little says he has become embroiled in a Twitter row with Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, because he believes the government is trying to turn people against doctors. The actor, who starred in The Royle Family and 24 Hour Party People, accuses Hunt of arrogance in dealing with recent strikes by junior doctors.

This interview was filmed before the news of Stephen Hawking's death. 

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Posted on 17 March 2018 | 1:10 am

My £54,000 cancer bill: 'It's like I've been left to die' – video

Albert Thompson has lived in the UK for 44 years, he has worked and paid his taxes. When he was diagnosed with prostate cancer he was told he would have to pay thousands for his hospital care because he didn't have the right documents. After Jeremy Corbyn raised his case in parliament, he tells us how the ordeal has affected him 

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Posted on 16 March 2018 | 1:58 am

Will Self on the cartoon strip that set him on the road to writing – The Start podcast

The novelist and journalist shares how living a life of austerity inspired his first professional work, Slump

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In 1982, as mass unemployment gripped Britain, a young graduate with an array of criminal convictions carried hopes of becoming a newspaper cartoonist. Spurred by the difficult socioeconomic climate, Will Self started to draw Slump, a cartoon whose hero lived a life of hopelessness that many young people felt acutely at that time. It was published in the political magazine New Statesman.

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Posted on 16 March 2018 | 12:48 am

Cheltenham hopefuls: the rising star and the battle scarred veteran – video

Paddy Brennan is 36 and Bryony Frost is 22, they are two compelling jump jockeys sharing not just a passion for racing but oddly the same birthday. Brennan, facing the end of his career has won 17 Grade One races, including the Gold Cup, but is haunted by past defeats and is desperate for one last big win before retirement. Frost is just starting, she still mucks out every day at the stables of champion trainer Paul Nicholls but her success in her first year as a professional had made her the darling of racing. Their contrasting stories will continue to take their twists and turns at this week’s Cheltenham Festival

Racing footage courtesy of Racing UK.

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Posted on 14 March 2018 | 10:48 pm

Shappi Khorsandi: my fling with a 90s rock star – video

Online dating can be a terrifying prospect when you’re a single parent of two. Comedian and author Shappi Khorsandi tells a cautionary tale of allure and deception

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Posted on 14 March 2018 | 8:00 pm

A message from Dunblane to Florida school shooting survivors – video

Families of the 16 children and teacher killed in the Dunblane massacre 22 years ago today send a message to survivors of last month’s Parkland school shooting in Florida, who are planning a protest to push for US gun law reform. The Dunblane shooting led the UK to bring in some of the strictest firearms legislation in the world, outlawing private ownership of most handguns. Almost overnight, 200,000 gun owners had their weapons banned, a law which was enforced with heavy fines and up to 10 years in prison

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Posted on 14 March 2018 | 5:56 am

Edinburgh’s hidden gems – as chosen by locals

From tranquil secret gardens to craft ales by the fire, Edinburgh residents reveal their favourite lesser-known places to visit

Edinburgh is not just home to castles, medieval streets and grand Georgian architecture. Take a wander down its passageways or venture out of the central tourist area and you’ll find a wealth of eateries, gardens and other delights tucked out of sight. We asked the city’s long-term residents to divulge their secrets – so next time you visit, you’ll have something new to do.

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Posted on 14 March 2018 | 1:27 am

Ai Weiwei in Sydney: 'The refugee condition is a human condition' – video

Ai Weiwei and the Biennale of Sydney's artistic director, Mami Kataoka, at Cockatoo Island in Sydney, speak about the Chinese artist’s exhibition inspired by the global refugee crisis. 'We are living in a very peaceful world, almost like a fairytale, in Australia, but still we cannot disconnect our connections to other human beings, the suffering and the tragic life of our global human community, he says. The activist has spent the last few years working on art that draws attention to the global refugee crisis, including a 60-metre long lifeboat featuring more than 300 refugee figures, called Law of the Journey, that is displayed on Cockatoo Island, and film Human Flow which also opens in Sydney this week.

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Posted on 12 March 2018 | 8:32 pm

Fukushima 360: walk through a ghost town in the nuclear disaster zone – video

Please note: Apple/IOS mobile users should view within the YouTube app

What happens to a town that has been abandoned for seven years after a nuclear meltdown? Greenpeace took former residents and a 360-degree camera into the radiation zone north of Fukushima to mark the anniversary of the disaster. The Fukushima Daiichi plant was damaged by a tsunami triggered by a magnitude-9 earthquake on the afternoon of 11 March 2011. The tsunami killed almost 19,000 people along the north-east coast of Japan and forced more than 150,000 others living near the plant to flee radiation. Some of the evacuated neighbourhoods are still deemed too dangerous for former residents to go back.

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Posted on 12 March 2018 | 4:53 pm

A female doctor in east Ghouta challenging patriarchy - video

With many men killed or missing, women are rising to prominence in the besieged enclave of eastern Ghouta in Syria. On International Women's Day Syrian campaign group Liberated T bring us Dr Amani Ballour who is committed to challenging gender stereotypes – even in war.

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Posted on 9 March 2018 | 1:44 am

'Never retreat': all-female band Yegna bring girl power to Ethiopia – video

Through songs, radio drama and their own YouTube channel, Yegna champion women's rights across Ethiopia, where many young women never get the chance to go to secondary school. Last year, the band lost its UK aid funding after a negative press campaign, but they remain determined to press home their message. The Guardian went to Addis Ababa to find them still inspiring young girls to assert their right to education and say no to child marriage

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Posted on 5 March 2018 | 8:00 pm

The great seascape: castles, kippers and coastal walks on the Isle of Man

From history and hiking to hairpin bends, Mark Hillsdon and his partner take a tour of the Isle of Man’s cultural attractions, with time to spare for some classic Manx cuisine

Setting off from Liverpool, we leave the calm morning waters of the Mersey estuary behind and head out across the Irish Sea. Having taken in the views from the deck of the iconic Isle of Man Steam Packet Company ferry, it’s time to settle down to breakfast and in less than three hours we’re moored up in Douglas – the Isle of Man’s capital – with a crescent-shaped bay backed by an impressive sweep of guesthouses, hotels and apartments.

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Posted on 17 February 2018 | 6:11 am